The division of Germany resulted from the division of Europe (and the world) into two spheres of power, which, after the Korean War, faced off in the so-called "Cold War," with no apparent possibility of reconciliation. This map shows the Federal Republic's integration both into the West's military and economic alliances (NATO and the European Economic Community, respectively) and into the GDR's connections to the Eastern Bloc through the Warsaw Pact and COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance). By 1956, the kind of neutrality that Austria was able to achieve was already impossible for Germany, being precluded by its geopolitical position and economic power, as well as the decidedly Western-oriented policies of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Thus, until 1989, the internal German border divided two hostile – or at least very competitive – power blocks within Europe. (A. Kunz)

The Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic in Europe (1956-58)


Source: Original cartography by IEG-MAPS, Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz, A. Kunz, 2004. Revised cartography (WCAG-compliant) by Gabriel Moss, 2021.